I moved!

I moved! You can find me at my new online home, KaylaPins.com!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I'm headed north to visit my family for the day. My husband and I missed the get-together last year because we were on a mini-honeymoon.
Here's a picture of the crew taken just one year ago at our wedding. At the top of my annual thankful list is my awesome, laid back family that makes the holidays enjoyable instead of stressful. I'm also thankful...

  • That I'm not only employed, but that I'm employed in a career that I love working with students I love
  • That I'm married to an awesome husband who takes great care of our family and home
  • That I have two awesome dogs who have turned me into "that" annoying person who counts dogs as family members
I hope you are too busy enjoying your break to read this Thanksgiving-day post! In that case... Welcome back! I hope your few days off work have you excited to be back instead of counting the days to Christmas.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beware of Fad Diets! Class Bulletin Board

This year my Food and Nutrition students collaborated with our school nurse to do a bulletin board about fad diets. After learning about what a balanced plate should look like (according to USDA guidelines) students researched a fat diet and drew what a plate would look like.  Needless to say there was not a lot of balance!
We posted the plates and fad-diet tips on the bulletin board near the nurse's office with MyPlate pictures that I cut from free hand-outs.

You can download the fad diet tips here and the fad diet research worksheet here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars Healthy Overhaul

PumpkinsNo Paula Deen recipe would be complete without lots of added fat! That's why this pumpkin bar recipe from Food Network made such a great subject for our healthy substitutions lab.

This lab works great with five student groups.  Each kitchen makes a different recipe. The recipes in my materials are not labeled, so refer to the following list:
  1. Original recipe
  2. Add fiber with whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds
  3. Cut sugar and add extra flavor with cinnamon
  4. Cut fat by reducing oil using egg whites
  5. Overhaul: Use all of the healthful substitutes in a single recipe

View My Materials

Whenever I'm trying "healthy" versions of recipes students can usually pick out the original.  I give them this scenario:
Imagine you walk into Mentors (homeroom) and your teacher has prepared pumpkin bars for you and your classmates.  Do you say "No thank you, those are far too healthy," or do you say, "YES! FOOD!"
Every high school student I know says "YES! FOOD!" I never have to worry about leftovers. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rolling Pinz Bakery is Open For Business!

After much hard work, my Bakery students are proud to announce the opening of their take-and-bake cinnamon roll business!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ms. Pins' Monster Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

In the past year I have adopted an animal-product-free lifestyle, and after last week's yeast bread unit I am reminded of how much better I feel without wheat as well. This is quite a let down for the upcoming holiday season. My mom is a fantastic baker and I can't imagine a celebration being the same without her goodies!

Last weekend I set out to create a gluten free, egg free, and dairy free version of our family's favorite monster cookies.  After a lifetime growing up with my mom's cooking "veganized" versions of foods are usually a let-down.  I can proudly report that these cookies were AWESOME and even passed the husband taste-test.

The recipe uses chia seeds as the emulsifier and oil as the fat instead of eggs and butter. I chose tapioca flour to replace the wheat flour because it is slightly sweet and is a good thickener. The resulting cookies have a crisp bite but are still chewy, just like an oatmeal cookie should be!

Ms. Pins' Monster Cookies
A gluten free, egg free, dairy free version of the cherished Mrs. Kramer Monster Cookie recipe

  • 1/2 C almond milk (original, unsweetened)
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T tapioca flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 1/4 C quick oats (People very sensitive to gluten should use certified gluten-free oats due to cross contamination risks)
  • 1/3 C each raisins, walnuts, and coconut or 1 C total of your choice of add-ins
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together almond milk and chia seeds.  Allow to sit until thickened slightly; about 5 minutes.
  3. Cream together chia seed mixture, vegetable oil, sugars, peanut butter, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Sift in flour and baking soda. Mix well.
  5. Stir in quick oats.
  6. Fold in raisins, walnuts, and coconut or your choice of add-ins.
  7. Drop dough by tablespoons full into powdered sugar. Roll in powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in middle of oven for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool on sheet for about five minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Advertising Logos and Slogans

Coca-Cola logoI did this advertising logo and slogan activity with my students to kick off learning about "Product" in the 4 P's of Marketing.

I searched far and wide to find my favorite worksheets so that I have three each of logos and slogans.



I make three different worksheets, each with a logo side and slogan side.  Students work individually before rotating papers with table mates.

The students have a lot of fun with this.  It's amazing to see how well they do!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yeast Bread Activity with Modern Marvels: Bread

Wheat harvest
I like to show Modern Marvels: Bread to my Bakery students because it gives so much historical information on bread that I could never cover.  It also demonstrates sourdough and Challah, which we do not have time to make with our limited class time. 

There is a fine line between teachers using videos to enhance their lesson and using videos to replace their lesson.  As someone who watched Kindergarten Cop in elementary music and Field of Dreams in eighth grade health, I want to be sure that I stay on the right side of the line.

That's why I kept my students busy making bread while learning about bread.  Everything in this recipe is made in a heavy-duty gallon freezer bag which means minimal mess.  It is a good activity for classrooms with no real kitchens.  Bread could be baked in the cafeteria ovens.

If the $20 price tag for a new DVD is too much for your department to handle, I highly suggest using Amazon instant video. This episode of Modern Marvels: Bread cost just $1.99.  Instant video is super handy when you're watching TV and think I wish I had recorded this! This is exactly what my students should know! 

Modern Marvels: Bread


2:45 “First, sugar, yeast, and flour are mixed with water into a one thousand pound ball called a sponge.”

In a one gallon (heavy duty) Ziploc bag, mix:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Close bag and knead it with fingers until the ingredients are completely blended. Leave bag closed and let rest.

9:50 “Across the Kansas State Campus, in the Bakery Science Laboratory, scientists have devised dozens of tests to check the quality of flour.”

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix well.

Add enough flour to make a stiff dough, about 1 or 1-1/2 cups. Close the bag and knead it, adding more flour until dough no longer sticks to the bag. Leave bag closed and let rest.

20:15 “Wheat may be the basis for most bread, but corn is an American specialty.”

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place glass casserole with 4 C water on lowest rack in oven.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Form dough into round ball, tucking seams underneath. Cut slashes in dough as demonstrated with the San Francisco sourdough. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise.

End of episode

Leaving water in place, bake bread on middle oven rack for 30 minutes or until done. Methods used to test doneness in the video include listening for crunch or tapping for a hollow sound.  A sure way is to see that internal temperature is at least 205 F with an instant-read thermometer.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bring Your Buddy to Work Day

Look at this handsome fellow who played in my classroom after school! This is my six-year-old dog, Tony. He is not "officially" registered as a therapy dog but has been excellent at nursing homes and elementary schools. Tony will be serving as the class pet for students with Autism and will visit every Monday.

The students took great care of Tony and loved having him visit. Tony had the time of his life getting affection from people all day long. He is such a calming presence in my home and I'm glad to have the opportunity to 

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Make Homemade Bread Crumbs from Fresh Bread

Last term I had to buy bread crumbs for my students to make stuffing.  Seriously.  I paid money for stale bread.

Don't spend your tight budget on stale bread!  Breadcrumbs are simple to make yourself.

Ironically, fresh bread mades the best bread crumbs.  I cut bread from our small appliance bread machine presentation into cubes and baked them for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.

That's it, that's all!  Now the breadcrumbs are ready for next week's Microwave Thanksgiving Lab.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Yeast Bread Vocabulary Quizlet

Woo hoo! Thanks to my awesome student volunteer, yeast bread vocabulary words are up on Quizlet for my students (and you!) to use!

The words correspond with Chapter 27: Yeast Breads and Rolls of Culinary Essentials by Glencoe, 2010.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quizlet Vocabulary Review Tool

How have I been teaching for three years without knowing Quizlet existed?!

Yesterday, while I covered a class for a Spanish teacher, students used their phones to add vocabulary words to Quizlet.  Today I explored the tool for myself and discovered that words and definitions can be copy/pasted from a spreadsheet. How cool!

I created and shared a Google spreadsheet with my volunteer and will have her input vocabulary words and definitions.  The spreadsheet can easily become vocabulary flash cards for my students.  For those less tech-savvy, the spreadsheet can just be printed and studied from the "old fashioned" way.

I'm pretty sure that Quizlet can be shared with anyone.  Of course, I will keep you posted and share my sets with you as they become available!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quick Biscuits Recipe

Food and Nutrition students made this quick biscuit recipe in the time that it took their Knife Skills Soup to simmer.
I like it because the students don't need to know the specifics of biscuit making, like the cutting in method. The biscuits use all shelf stable ingredients so I didn't have to make an extra grocery trip. (I mix dry milk powder as my students need it.)
I encouraged students to make substitutions.  One group did half whole wheat flour, pumpkin instead of oil, and added some honey and cinnamon. They were awesome! It encouraged their classmates to be a bit more adventurous next time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Create Your Own Quick Bread Project

It's that time of the Bakery term for the Create Your Own Quick Bread Project!

This activity builds on the Basic Ingredients unit.  Students use a ratio formula to create their own muffin recipe.  They evaluate the muffin and change their recipe based on their knowledge of ingredients.

When they have finalized a recipe they produce a finished product and "advertise" it with a 30 second or 1 minute commercial. Their commercial markets the muffin based on flavor, appearance, color, and texture, and includes a calorie count and cost-per-unit.

Students have quite the complex rubric to follow which you can download here.  They just made their final products muffins yesterday and the results are delicious! Student favorites include the Pear-Walnut, Nutella Espresso, and Sweet Bacon. I look forward to watching their commercials tomorrow.

Monday, November 4, 2013

QR Codes for Absent/Missing Work

Although I have yet to figure out the QR code reader on my smart phone, my students love them. That is why I am utilizing QR codes to relay absent and missing work to students.
I made this poster for my classroom using this QR Code Generator.  Each code takes students to the corresponding page on this blog.  As you know, each page has a link to the class outline which in turn has links to most class content.

You know, back in the day, I didn't get a cell phone until I was a senior in high school. Even then I didn't have text messaging. My, how times have changed! We also had these light-up box things called "overhead projectors." ;)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Complement Your Family and Consumer Sciences Lessons with "Good Eats" Episodes

I would be hard-pressed to meet a culinary arts teacher who does not love Alton Brown's Good Eats.  It is a fantastic collection of 20-minute lessons on specific food science concepts.  Each episode goes in depth on a specific technique, trend, issue, or food.

Even my hyperactive self cannot match Alton Brown's passion for culinary arts, so I integrate episodes into my curriculum.  In addition to being spoiled rotten with fantastic administration, students, and block scheduling, my department owns every episode on DVD! My favorite episodes include:

  • The Dough Also Rises
  • The Muffin Method Man
  • American Slicer
  • Choux Shine
  • ...and many others, although I watch most of them for just my personal enjoyment.
An invaluable resource is Good Eats Fanpage.  The website lists every episode by topic and links to a version on YouTube.  It also includes a transcript of every episode, which is handy to refer back to during demonstrations.

As much as I love Good Eats, I suffer severe my-students-are-sitting-still guilt if I show videos too often.  That's not to say I can't binge-watch in the comfort of my own home!